- 60% of all Alzheimer’s caregivers are women. At the age of 65, women have a 1 in 5 chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Compared to a 1 in 11 chance for men.
- 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S., 3.2 million are women.
- Research has found that women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than to develop breast cancer.
This is reported by researchers who published an article in the journal JAMA Neurology. But, why is Alzheimer affects women more than men?
Age Isn’t Everything
The most damning factor in Alzheimer’s development is your age – as you get older, your risk of developing it increases. Since women are estimated to live longer than men, scientists think this could be one simple reason why they are more likely to contract the disease. Especially since men die more often of heart conditions in their 50s and 60s.
But regardless of life span, some factors may put women at a greater risk then men. The disease is understood to be an abnormal part of aging. And with Alzheimer’s, overall physical and mental health may have an influence.
So, scientists have studied women’s and men’s physical and mental health to pin down potential risk factors. Women are more likely to develop depression, which can lead to an increased risk of dementia. This information is according to several studies, including one from 2017 that looked at participants’ brain health over 28 years.